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#FairnessFirst: Are we on track for 50/50 by 2020?

With gender equality more under the spotlight last year than ever before, many in the marketing and entertainment industry pledged '50/50 by 2020'. With just six months to go before 2020 is a reality and no longer a mythical spot in the future, are those goals on track? Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of UN Women, shared insights at the recent Women Deliver conference.
Spotlight on the 5050 by 2020 initiative and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's insights at the Women Deliver conference.

When many in the global entertainment industry spoke of the possibility of ‘50/50 by 2020’, we were years from reaching that futuristic goal.

But there’s a reason for the 2020 goalpost, as News Trust reports that next year marks the 25th anniversary of a landmark women's rights conference, when 189 countries signed the Beijing Declaration calling for gender parity on decision-making bodies.

The Wrap reports that we were finally spurred to take action when there were widespread calls for a change to the corporate culture that has allowed widespread cases of sexual harassment cases like those involving Harvey Weinstein.

#FairnessFirst: Goodbye, boys' club! Time's up, advertising...

More than 180 female C-suite advertising agency leaders have formally aligned with Time's Up to form Time's Up Advertising...

By Leigh Andrews 19 Mar 2018

And so, one of the first global events that sets the tone of gender equality talks on the calendar is the Academy Awards, set to take place again on 9 February 2020.

#FairnessFirst: How the Hollywood diversity problem is slowly improving

Since the #OscarsSoWhite tweet from a few years ago, there's been increased awareness of the lack of diversity, equality and inclusion in the global film and TV industry overall, but has there been any action? UCLA's just released 2019 Hollywood Diversity Report says yes, but not enough...

By leigh andrews 25 Feb 2019

The ‘Oscars’ being criticised for its lack of diversity over the years is hopefully now a thing of the past, as Elle reports that the Oscars will be a more woman-friendly in 2020. That’s because 842 new members are set to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science, 50% of which are women and 29% people of colour.

#FairnessFirst: Making modern movies in 2018

While movies have been mainstream for more than a hundred years, diversity behind the lens has been more than a little lacking - hello 2018's top trending TV and cinema industry hashtags, #TimesUp and #OscarsSoWhite...

By Leigh Andrews 19 Feb 2018

This includes the likes of Lady Gaga, Adele and Letitia Wright. A good move as this is the body which decides which actors, actresses, films, directors and more take home Oscars.

Taking a global cue from the Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

Yes, young, diverse audiences demand fresh, diverse content, but it’s not just a case of wanting to see more women on screen.

Today’s woke audience is attuned to tokenism and quick to comment when they feel something’s being done just for the sake of meeting a quota – both behind and in front of the lens.

Captain Marvel disappoints due to token feminism

Of late there is no denying that Marvel Studios has been killing it. Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War were rightfully well received and celebrated for just how astoundingly good comic book films can be when they are done right...

By Natalie Le Clue 18 Mar 2019

Swift: 78% of women in the film/TV industry victims of discrimination

A new report being prepared by women working in film and television in SA has revealed shocking findings at the Durban International Film Festival...

By Juanita Pienaar 19 Jul 2017

Cannes is as good a place to start on the map as any, as the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is preceded by the Cannes Film Festival, where diversity has also taken a front row seat of late.

#FairnessFirst: #CannesYouSeeUs trends at Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is usually filled with chatter about the winning work and those impressive evening gowns the celebs wear. Comments following the 2018 version are proving more substantial than usual, as diversity was front and foremost at the 71st Cannes Film Festival...

By Leigh Andrews 21 May 2018

And SA’s voice is strong in this call, as former deputy president of the country Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, now head of UN Women, was awarded the Cannes LionHeart at the most recent Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, in recognition of her advocacy for women, human rights and social justice throughout the world, and for her leadership of the industry-wide diversity initiative, The Unstereotype Alliance.

Women Deliver: All eyes on Africa

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to be awarded Cannes LionHeart

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women, has been awarded the 2019 Cannes LionHeart in recognition of her advocacy for women, human rights and social justice...

30 Apr 2019

Shifting focus from big screens to big business, the Thomson Reuters Foundation interviewed Mlambo-Ngcuka at Women Deliver, the world's biggest gender equality conference, on her drive to double-gender equal cabinets by 2020.

Mlambo-Ngcuka says balanced cabinets make better decisions not just for women, but for broader society and economies, and provide role models for the next generation.
But are we on track to make that a reality by 2020?

Mlambo-Ngcuka said that many countries had passed laws on gender equality and created gender ministries but progress was slow.

Despite this, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that there’s definitely momentum in Africa for 50:50 cabinets.

Several sub-Saharan countries already have a greater proportion of female lawmakers than wealthier countries and women currently comprise 61% of parliament in Rwanda, 46% in Namibia and 42% in South Africa and Senegal.

That’s definitely a step in the right direction.

South Africa's first SDG report card: How to move beyond ticking boxes

South Africa will present its first progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations on July 17...

By Willem Fourie 3 Jul 2019

#FairnessFirst: Why SDGs are at the (Lion)heart of #CannesLions2018

A stand-out factor of Cannes Lions 2018 was the introduction of the SDG Lions to this year's Festival of Creativity. We can make the world a better place through creativity...

By Leigh Andrews 25 Jun 2018

With a revised call for ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030’, which ties in with the 2030 goal for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), let’s see if the rest of the world follows suit…

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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